The Farmer’s Market Cardi: Casting On!

Why hello again. I'm here, and I'm in yarn heaven. Care to join me?

The Dream In Color Classy yarn for my Farmer's Market Cardigan (the pattern is from Interweave Knits Fall 2009) arrived two weeks ago, and ever since then, I've been immersed in the Farmer's Market Cardi in one way or another.

I spread the yarn out on the floor when it arrived to admire it properly. Also, to make it easier for you (coughcough) to roll around in. I know how much you like to do that, and just in case you dropped by here (though you'd call first, wouldn't you?), it would be all ready for you. A cushy carpet of yarn. Sigh.

Anyway. I've been hard at work on getting my Farmer's Market Cardi Party started–today's post is Part One of a two-part series this week on what I've been doing while you all have been holiday shopping. That's why this post is showing up on a Tuesday; Part Two will be posted as usual on Thursday.

Now: Back to the important stuff: The yarn. "Classy" is worsted weight wool in the colorway In Vino Veritas. And it's superwash, but it doesn't feel like superwash. This yarn is gooshy and smooshy and soft…and shut me up, I sound like a commercial. 🙂

The photo cannot do the colors justice. Yes, colors, plural; This yarn may look red, but there are subtle tones, rich variations, glowing hues here that my pitiful camera skills cannot illuminate for you.

Yes, why, I am besotted with this yarn, why do you ask?

It's a good thing I am so obsessed with the yarn, because the first bit of the sweater is 6.5 inches of stockinette stitches, worked over 226 stitches at cast-on.

I calculated that this means I'm doing over 8,800 stitches in this first section. (One should never calculate how many stitches are ahead in a particular garment. The mind boggles.)

I'll now give our poor boggled minds a rest and talk about how I determined which size to make.

Which size did I pick?

Let's just get the suspense over: I'm knitting the size 43", which is about halfway through the range of sizes.

I have to make a few modifications on this sweater, due to my curvaceousness. And naturally, those modifications require math, swatching, and some crossed-out bits in my knitting notebook.

There is not a lot of math, but there is sufficient math to make me worry: How much math would you like to see?

I'll just give you a sample here so you can see what I mean by "not a lot of math"…and then you can leave a comment telling me "more, less, same" for future posts. How does that sound? Let's give it a whirl…

Determining the number of cast-on stitches

I chose the 43" size based on my bust size and some things I will discuss in Thursday's post. But my fingers were itching to cast on, and I realized that I could calculate the cast-on stitches without necessarily knowing the size to choose. Why? Because the number of hem stitches is all about ME–what will fit my hip measurement comfortably. Since my hips are bigger than my bust, then I know that I will have to do some customizations somewhere along the line.

My hips are a zaftig 46" without ease, and I decided to give myself some room. The finished hem circumference I was aiming for was about 49". (Find out how I arrived at that number on Thursday.) I knew from my ginormous swatch (about 8 inches wide by 10 inches long) that I could get the required gauge of 4.5 sts per inch spot-on using bigger needles (size 9) than the pattern called for–and in doing a sweater, it's all about getting gauge, baby. So: Swatchity, swatchity, swatchily.

All right. 49 inches multiplied by 4.5 stitches per inch gave me 220.5 stitches, which I rounded up to 222 stitches to get an even number (this makes any mods easily split between left/right sides).

Then I looked down.

I've gained some weight (medication, right? yes, it's the meds, work with me here) and my belly is once again bigger than my behind. (Harumph. Love Thyself Anyways, Girlfriends. Rockin' my curves, rockin' my curves!) So I added two stitches to the front on each side. The total? 222 stitches plus 4 stitches equals 226.

Voila! Cast-on!

The astute amongst you might notice One Teensy Little Issue with that number. Anyone? Tell me in the comments if you do!

So how's that level of math detail? Too much? Not enough? Juuuuust right? Let me know in the comments and I will adjust future posts accordingly.

Enjoy your holiday festivities during this season of light and joy.

– Sandi

P.S. I always, always love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me at or to leave a comment.


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